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EU ties to be a 2011 priority

Foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey says Switzerland must improve its relations with the European Union in 2011.

Calmy-Rey, who will hold the rotating post of Swiss president next year, told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper that Swiss-EU ties would be a priority.

The foreign minister was responding to repeated criticism by Brussels of Swiss-EU relations.

The EU has indicated that the bilateral course with the non-member state, in which more than 100 agreements have been concluded, has reached its limits.
The member states are critical, for instance, of the “inconsistent application” of the accord on the free movement of people, and low corporate tax rates offered EU companies by some Swiss cantons.

Calmy-Rey said in the interview published on Sunday that the Swiss government should act before pressure from Brussels increases.

“The bilateral path should not become more dynamic at the cost of our sovereignty and direct democracy,” she explained.

This was in reference to calls from the EU to see any future agreements include mechanisms to make it easier to adapt them to changes in EU legislation. and agencies


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